Mr F O Close (1947-1961)

Mr Close 1947-1962Mr. Frank Close was headmaster of the school from 1947 until his retirement in March 1962. This period was a period of change. In 1950 the name of the school was changed from Hobart Junior Technical School to Hobart Technical High School. Mr. Close had striven for recognition of the school as a High School. In 1952 the school moved from Bathurst Street to New Town after one year when pupils were at both sites. This change presented many problems such as an incomplete building, a lack of some facilities and undeveloped grounds but his determination, foresight and wise planning enabled the school to function smoothly in this period.

He strove for matriculation classes and in 1952 these were introduced thus promoting the welfare of the school and its standing in the community. It was a disappointment to him in the year of his retirement that the school lost the right to offer matriculation courses. In 1953 French was added to the curriculum.

One of the foremost teachers of Mathematics in High Schools in Tasmania, Frank Close contributed in a most positive manner to his pupils’ knowledge and understanding of mathematics.

During his time as Headmaster the prestige of the school was enhanced not only by fine scholastic achievement but also in the fields of sport and music. An ardent supporter of Australian Rules Football, he encouraged a wide variety of sports. His belief was that all boys should be given the opportunity to develop prowess in their chosen sport and, with this, good sportsmanship.

His love of music established the name of the school in this field. He was the driving force behind the development of the school orchestra and a brass band. In 1948 and 1950 he surmounted endless problems to stage the school’s light operas, “The Pirates of Penzance” and “H.M.S. Pinafore.” After the completion of the Assembly Hall at New Town his interest in the staging of operettas was renewed and all associated with the production of the six operettas from 1956 to 1961 were inspired by his enthusiasm and encouragement.

Mr. Close was a direct and fearless headmaster, a clear, logical and accurate thinker. He saw a situation as a whole; his decisions were forthright and fair and he always gave praise where it was deserved.

An outstanding disciplinarian, a brilliant teacher – one who never spared himself in his teaching and one who set high standards and demanded the highest standards according to individual ability – Frank Close earned the respect and cooperation of all.

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